Blog Archives

Mammal’s Best of 2015 – Part 7/10



This was where the really tough part began. It was difficult enough to narrow my selections down to 75 metal albums. Making a final list of my Top 50 was more challenging still. Choosing my favourites from those 50 for my Top 20 sometimes felt impossible. In some ways it still does.

The challenge was as great in my rankings of the other genres in my hit parades.

My top few on every list shouted out to me clearly that they were extra-special. For the others in my top rankings, the order would quite likely change if I were to re-rank them. Enjoyment of music can change very subtly under the tiniest of emotional or other influences.

I shan’t even try to make a combined top list from all of my preferences in different genres.


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Sonic Cathedral’s female-fronted roundup for September

SonC logoHey, sorry I’m late with our digest of last month’s album reviews by Sonic Cathedral, the best website and Facebook page devoted to rock and metal bands with female singers. We’re always extremely grateful to SC for sharing their reviews with us because we don’t feature a great number of FF bands.

I’ve been preoccupied with a few things during the last couple of months. First there was a zombie breakout in my part of Zululand and we had to stop the moshing dead with appropriate weapons. Drone metal disintegrated them. Then the Arcturans landed with hostile intent, and we repelled them with space metal. Then I woke up.

Enjoy SC’s September selections. They featured some super albums. I’d go so far as to say “awesome” if I knew what it meant. Check out SC for the full reviews and plenty of other great information about the FF music scene.

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Mammal’s most recommended new albums: Assorted genres

Main categories

Metal State often receives ten invitations a day to review new albums. In physical terms, it would be impossible for a whole battalion of writers to do full reviews of so much new music. In practical terms, we don’t want to overwhelm our readers with so many posts that few would have or make the time to read them all. How then to do some justice to the many outstandingly good submissions we take in each day?

One way to help the best bands reach a wider audience is to compile digests of new albums, and that’s what I’m starting to do here. The graphic shows what type of ground I’ll be covering in the next few weeks, months and the rest of my life. After that, I’ll do mixed digests of different flavours of metal and other music as soon as possible after it arrives at our dungeon. For now, I’ve sorted my best albums received so far this year into main categories. You can see them in the graphic on the left. I’ll tick off each category as I add posts.

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Video of the Week: Glass Delirium – Separate Ways

Let’s have something light, bubbly and amusing to celebrate the arrival of another weekend. Here’s what the drummer, Pat, says about this video, a cover a of a Journey song: “You know a lot of bands cover this song, and they do a great job. It really is a great song. When the idea came up to have us do a shot for shot remake of the video, we lost it! When it came time to shoot the video, none of us could keep a straight face, with the mullet wigs, and horribly awesome wardrobe. Goodwill rocks, by the way! Once we played the video next to the original music video, by Journey, we knew that we had something totally hilarious, and cool.”

In addition to Pat, Glass Delirium is Michelle on vocals, Scott on guitars, Aeon on bass, and David on keys. The band’s home town is Denver, Colorado, and you can meet them on Facebook:



Johnny Wore Black – A Cut Above (Single)

artworks-000085118344-9q8op4-t200x200On the 28th of March, Johnny Wore Black released their much anticipated debut album, “Walking Underwater Part 1.” It was full of atmospheric elements combined with dark and melancholic vocals soothing to the psyche.  Click here for the review of that album.  Just five months later…that’s now in case you are counting; a new single, ‘A Cut Above’ is upon us in preparation for, as you might have guessed…”Walking Underwater Part 2.”

While continuing with an atmospheric and emotive style, ‘A Cut Above’ is more upbeat lending itself to more of a hard rock vibe.  If you thought the sophomore album would be a continuation of this year’s earlier release, ‘A Cut Above’ certainly does not intend to let us think that.  The song will also be accompanied by a “new and intriguing video.”  No doubt, it will be interesting to see what is in store for “Walking Underwater Part 2.”  For now, their is no set date for the second installment except that we can expect “later this year” (most likely October) for the new music.  Click here to follow Johnny Wore Black and check out their progress and videos they have already released.  Head over to iTunes to pre-order today!


Album Review: Blood Drive by ASG

grigliaThere are 3 big points I’ve noticed that really sways my enjoyment of an album, the first and most important how catchy the songs on it are.  Whether it be a great vocal hook or a groove that I won’t get out of my mind a songwriters aptitude for writing something that sticks is what will have me keep returning to an album time and time again.  Just give a listen to some of my favorite bands like Iron Maiden, Clutch, Black Sabbath, and Opeth.  Each album they release contains elements of catchy songwriting that has been engaging me for years on end and don’t show any signs of slowing up.  Some genres of rock and metal genres lend themselves better to having more opportunities for damn catchy songs, so, being a stoner hard rock band, today’s band under the microscope happen to already have a few points in their favor.  Fortunately, ASG doesn’t rest on their laurels and let the natural catchiness of the genre carry them along.  Their new album Blood Drive also features the other 2 bullet points for what I consider a great album; depth and performance.  It’s also a fun and uplifting record filled with nice twists and turns that poke at prog rock tendencies and has a nice bit of diversity to keep things interesting.  So after my initial spin of the album it was easy for me to say All Systems Go on this highly enjoyable album.

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Album Review: Biffy Clyro – Opposites

biffy-clyro-oppositesI first became aware of the Scottish experience known as Biffy Clyro when they were selected to headline one of the nights at Sonisphere UK.  I think it was 2010, but that little detail isn’t really important.  I thought who the hell are they?  There was actually a lot of backlash in chat forums about them playing.  I heard a couple songs and thought they were pretty good.  Ultimately, I agree Biffy Clyro was probably not the best choice to headline a metal festival, but I don’t get paid to make those decisions.  So, I bought their most recent album at the time, Only Revolutions to see what they were all about.  Since then, I have become quite a fan of the band and their alternative style.  Even my kids enjoy their music.

…Are we alive, because God, tricked us and, this is all just a joke on us.

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A Lovely Band

While not exactly a metal band The Lovely Savalas is an up and coming alternative rock band that you should take your time go check out.  From San Gemini, Italy, these lovely guys have an eclectic mix of styles ranging from upbeat and poppy to somber and pensive.  Thier first full length L.P., Pornocracy, was released last year and they have just released their first music video for the chill track “Desert of December” featuring Martyn LeNoble of Porno for Pyros on bass guitar.  Check it out below as well as the rockin’ promo video clip for the track “Armadillo” in which they worked with Kyuss/Queens of the Stoneage/Mondo Genorator bassist Nick Olivieri and saxophonist Dicofone.  If you find yourself digging on bands such as Incubus, Jane’s Addiction and Stone Temple Pilots as well as the songs in these video clips head over to The Lovely Savalas‘ bandcamp page and show them some love.  Enjoy!!! Peace Love and Metal!!!